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Two of the contenders from the early part of the spring were voted off by a panel of coaches and front-office executives.
The Giants moved a step closer to finalizing the roster, making a couple of unexpected (but not, like, mind-blowing) cuts. According to Alex Pavlovic, the Giants have released both right-handed reliever Ramon Ramirez and terrifying utility option Wilson Valdez into the wild.
The release of Ramirez reminds me of when Ming Tsai got kicked off Next Iron Chef. Started as the favorite, the known quantity, but you couldn't argue with the decision by the end. This is Chad Gaudin's world, and we're all just paying rent. I'd imagine the Giants releasing Ramirez with a week left in camp is a way for him to find another gig. He was good in 2010, you know. Bondsspeed, Ramon.
The Valdez one was a bit more of a surprise, though. There aren't any other options for the last utility-infielder gig in camp now, other than a gimpy Tony Abreu. So whatever the Giants saw in camp from Valdez must have been pretty damning.
Sabean: Good god, that guy plays baseball like Wilson Valdez.
Sabean: /looks at roster sheet
Sabean: /thinks back to wild night in Nashville
Sabean: Man, I guess the tribal tattoo around my biceps might be the second worst thing that happened to me that night.
This doesn't open up the door for Abreu so much as it practically guarantees the Giants will make another move. The smart money is on Ryan Theriot, who absolutely isn't going to find a starting job. So it's utility or retirement, and he already knows where the bathrooms are and everything. But there is still a wave or two of cuts left around the league, and it's possible that someone interesting -- or as interesting as a cuttable utility infielder can possibly be -- will be on the market.
Or the Giants could realize that they have Joaquin Arias already, and that they can afford to carry an extra pinch-hitter on the bottom of the roster, regardless of defensive acumen. Considering the presence of Arias, I'd probably rather have Matt Stairs or Pat Burrell as the 25th-man than a generic shortstop-for-the-sake-of-shortstop guy. Heck, Ellis Burks was in Reds camp as an instructor. He's still around the game.
But if the Giants are absolutely set on a middle infielder who at least has a little experience at short, and they aren't willing to play around with Brock Bond as a bat-only option, let's all sit back and wait for Ryan Theriot. (Though there is some scuttlebutt about Nick Noonan, which ... I guess so, okay, fine, whatever.) This is kind of a replacement-level bit of spring excitement, this roster decision, so Theriot would make sense. Just about anyone would, really. Except for Valdez, which is kind of the point.